The Increasing Number of Women Who Travel for Abortions

A new study finds that the number of patients traveling out of state for abortions has increased dramatically since Roe v. Wade, with low-income women and women of color disproportionately affected.

The research, published in the American Journal of Public Health, used data from the Turnaway Study—a longitudinal study of over 1,000 women who sought but were denied abortions due to gestational age limits at their clinics—to examine trends in interstate abortion travel from 2008 to 2014.

During that time, 24 percent of participants traveled out of state for an abortion, up from just 3 percent in the years immediately following Roe.

The increase was driven largely by a rise in the number of low-income women and women of color seeking abortions: While 17 percent of white participants and 21 percent of those who earned over $75,000 traveled for an abortion, 34 percent of Black participants and 30 percent of those who earned less than $25,000 did so.

That’s likely due to a combination of factors, including limited access to affordable reproductive health care and more restrictive state laws.

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